Don’t remember the name. Olympian Abby Wambach announced her retirement from women’s soccer on Wednesday, December 16, with a dramatic, final tweet.
The two-time gold medalist, 35, tweeted to her many followers, “Make them forget me” and subsequently deactivated all of her social media accounts.
Wambach will play her final game on Wednesday night in New Orleans. The sports star also filmed an ad with Gatorade in which she explains why she wants her fans to “forget” her.
The clip opens with Wambach packing up her belongings from her locker. “Forget me, forget my number, forget my name, forget I ever existed,” the Women’s World Cup champion says. “Forget the medals won, the records broken, and the sacrifices made. I want to leave a legacy where the ball keeps rolling forward, where the next generation accomplishes things so great that I am no longer remembered. Because the day I’m forgotten is the day I’ll succeed. So, forget me.”
Wambach enjoyed some viral fame after the U.S. team won the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in July. The openly gay athlete kissed her wife, Sarah Huffman, in a sweeping moment of passion that people went crazy for across the Internet.
“When I won a world championship, the first person that I wanted to go to was my partner — as would any person on the planet,” she later told Us Weekly at the Athlete of the Year Awards. “It was just in the moment, and that’s something that I’m proud of.…Hopefully, if that can help one person feel more confident about their life, then I’m proud.”
Throughout her career, Wambach has inspired many women to be more confident, including her fellow peers within the world of soccer. Fellow World Cup champ Alex Morgan spoke to Us in July at a separate Tampax Pearl event about her role models. “I feel like just women who just show off confidence and who just are,” she said. “You see Taylor Swift, and she’s all about female power, and Robin Roberts. Even my teammate Abby Wambach, people like that. I want to follow their footsteps, and I’m just all about…those types of women.”
Later that month, Wambach presented the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner at the 2015 ESPYS.
Wambach’s career began in 1994. She joined the U.S. national women’s team in 2001 and ascended to fame during the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Wambach broke legendary female soccer player Mia Hamm‘s record of goals scored in June 2013. Hamm tweeted her support for her protégé on Wednesday.
Congrats @AbbyWambach on an incredible playing career.Enjoy your day with your family and friends. You deserve it and so much more. GOAT
— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) December 16, 2015
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